This year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was held in Shanghai, and apparently it was a bit of a mess. Gigi Hadid, Irina Sharipova, and a few other models as well as Katy Perry weren’t able to enter the country because their visas were denied.
From there, the bad chi continued, as model Ming Xi had quite a spill on the runway while Bella Hadid suffered a nip slip (no surprise).
And the grand finale couldn’t be more fitting to the experience of this year’s epically ill-fated, when the after-party was suddenly shut down early, and all of the guests were kicked out of the Mercedes-Benz Arena. I doubt China will ever be on the list of possible venues again.
Though it wasn’t all rain clouds and bad karma for the Fashion Show and its models. A few high notes were hit, including an almost whisper of a body confidence move, with VS placing the $2M Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra on stretch mark laden model Lais Ribeiro. While the stretch marks are certainly subtle, some would say it’s a big step in the industry to embrace them.
The name of what she’s wearing says it all, and these models are selected to sell a fantasy. So for VS to choose a less than absolutely airbrushed perfect model is to admit that the fantasy might not actually be real. And therefore acceptance and appreciation of human features like stretch marks might actually be accepted by their viewers/buyers. Who are mostly NOT men. Imagine that. It’s a small victory, but others would say it’s not enough.
Others like curve model Ashley Graham and her followers call the lingerie company out for their lack of body diversity on the runway. Isn’t it time already to move away from the unhealthy body image the major corporations are hawking? I mean, these ladies have a good point.
I must give some major credit to VS since this is their most racially inclusive show that I’ve seen to date, and that was very noticeable on the runway. Not only did the models all come from diverse backgrounds, but unlike many designer runways, they all had their own hairstyles and makeup looks, celebrating their own individual beauty.
Ok, so let’s get down to the looks. As always, the VS show was divided into themed sections, and this year opened with “Punk Angel” featuring looks in collaboration with Balmain. These gave amped up, bad girl vixen vibes in plaid, studded, fringed, stone encrusted looks went that high when referential to the runway and low when referential to Pretty Woman.
There was some major hardware, squared off shoulders, a bit of tartan, and an edgy rocker version of the Saint Laurent sparkle boots for the ladies out there that want less girly, more badass.
This series was followed by the Greco-Roman “Goddesses” with ethereal sheer fabric wafting gracefully behind their ornate gold wreaths and wings. The lingerie here had a luminescent sheen that glowed against the skin, creating a quite stunning effect from the bustier down to even the basic bra and panties.
Lais Ribeiro wore the $2M Fantasy Bra, made of 6,000 gemstones – hands down the most stunning I’ve seen them make. Absolute fantasy body jewelry made for a goddess. Oh, and a matching belt too.
The Pink portion read street style athleisure – officially themed “Millennial Nation” – which was a major step up from their usual athletic fare. There were satin jackets in fusions between boxer robes and bombers, puffer jackets, and color block boots.
The dramatic “Winter’s Tale” group drifted from pops of vibrant color to icy cool moments embellished with gladiator sandals up to the knees with metal coins and delicate blossom shoulder pieces.
The “Porcelain Angel” collection spoke to the host country with blue and white designs of Ming dynasty vases. The lingerie looks themselves were sultry black lace numbers with flattering panel insets. And those boots! Ahhh, yeah. You’re speaking my language.
The final looks were a multicultural display seen in a previous show – the “Nomadic Angels”, paying homage to cultures around the globe. This is where VS kicked it into gear with a wild array of colorful, moving shoulder pieces that wowed down the runway. And of course the lingerie was pretty stellar too.